My bat-like thought-wings would beat painfully in that sudden searchlight, H.D. writes in Tribute to Freud, her moving memoir. Compelled by historical as well as personal crises, H.D. underwent therapy with Freud during 1933-34, as the streets of Vienna were littered with tokens dropped like confetti on the city stating Hitler gives work, Hitler gives bread. Having endured World War I, she was w gathering her resources to face the cataclysm she knew was approaching. The first part of the book, Writing on the Wall, was composed some ten years after H.D.'s stay in Vienna; the second part, Advent, is a journal she kept during her analysis. Revealed here in the poet's crystal shard-like words and in Freud's own letters (which comprise an appendix) is a remarkably tender and human portrait of the legendary Doctor in the twilight of his life. Time double backs on itself, mingling past, present, and future in a visionary weave of dream, memory, and reflections.
H.D. (1886-1961) (the pen name of Hilda Doolittle) was born in the Moravian community of Bethlehem, PA in 1886. A major twentieth century poet with an ear more subtle than Pound's, Moore's, or Yeats's as Marie Ponsot writes, she was the author of several volumes of poetry, fiction, essays, and memoirs. She is perhaps one of the best-known and prolific women poets of the Modernist era. Bryher Ellerman was a novelist and H.D.'s wealthy companion. She financed H.D.'s therapy with Freud. Adam Phillips, whom John Banville called one of the finest prose stylists in the language, an Emerson of our time, was born in 1954 in Cardiff, Wales. A child psychotherapist, he is the author of On Balance and The Beast in the Nursery.